Court Rejects EchoStar Extension

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A Florida court has decided not to give EchoStar an extension on the date--Dec. 1--when it must stop importing distant network signals to its subscribers, even those who cannot receive a local version of the network station.

""We are disappointed the court declined to provide additional time while Congress considers the bipartisan proposal in the Senate [to block the court injunction]," EchoStar said in a statement. We will continue to pursue legislative, judicial and other options to minimize the disruption to innocent consumers."

The Senate does not return until Dec. 5, however.

EchoStar still has a motion to stay the injunction pending in an 11th Circuit Federal Appeals Court, but failing that will likely have to pull distant signals to some 800,000-plus subs, though many of those will have options to go to cable or competitor DirecTV.

The injunction was imposed after the courts concluded EchoStar had 1) illegally delivered distant affiliate TV station signals to subscribers who could receive their local affiliate and 2) did not have a system in place to effectively differentiate between eligible and ineligible households.

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